Warehouses sit at the center of production, manufacturing, and supply chain operations since they hold all the materials used or produced in those processes, from the raw materials to the finished goods.
As one of the busiest places in your business, having an inefficient warehouse can cost you thousands of dollars. With that said, you can streamline your production and inventory by using a reliable warehouse management system, serving as a foundation for more efficient operations.
A warehouse management system or WMS is a valuable solution that provides visibility into your entire warehouse inventory and allows you to effectively manage supply chain fulfillment operations from your distribution center to the store shelf.
Here are some of the benefits of implementing a warehouse management system in your business:
1. Optimized Operating Expenses
A warehouse management system can optimize warehouse expense and flow by analyzing the best use of floor space based on the material and task characteristics. This should help in reducing the waste of premium floor space, as well as reducing the time needed to locate a product.
This can also help reduce potential costs from time-consuming placements, excessive material movements, and retrievals. By considering the best locations to store items and products, as well as equipment and materials, a warehouse can significantly lower its operating expenses.
In addition, a good warehouse management system can also help reduce waste and optimize your expenses by identifying which units or products should be picked first. This is particularly important for perishable items or other date-restricted stocks in the warehouse.
2. Inventory Visibility
A warehouse management system can help provide visibility of real-time and accurate inventory levels. This allows your business to have a more accurate estimates of supplies and prevent backorders, resulting in more satisfied customers.
In addition, some warehouse management systems also use RFID or other location-tracking methods in order to ensure visibility. It allows you to document items or materials as they enter the warehouse, tracking their movement on the warehouse floor and during transportation. This significantly reduces scenarios where inventory becomes lost, misplaced, or forgotten within the warehouse.
3. Better Forecasting
Most warehouse management systems can work with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to help create better forecasting decisions.
By obtaining accurate insights into which products are underperforming or which items are popular among customers, depending on which time of the year, you can plan your inventory and decide which products to invest in or cut off in order to increase revenue or mitigate losses.
4. Enhanced Security
Security is essential in a warehouse. A warehouse management system can ensure security by requiring employees to have individual user accounts when entering transactions. This ensures an audit trail, connecting a specific employee to a specific operation, and, thus, improving accountability while reducing the risk of theft and other security issues.
Not only that, but a user-based access level can also help prevent unauthorized access to analytics and reports. A reliable software allows only the necessary amount of information for the particular user is required to work on. Thus, you don’t have to worry much about the company secrets falling into the wrong hands.
5. Improved Customer And Supplier Relationships
A reliable management software can help elevate and improve your business’s relationship with all parties in your demand and supply chain—both your customers and suppliers.
Using a warehouse management system can help in reducing delivery lead times and ensuring minimal to no order errors. This helps improve customer relationships since more customers are satisfied with their orders, which also means more repeat sales.
It also helps build a strong relationship with your suppliers. A reliable warehouse management system can help increase efficiency in your warehouse so that you’re always ready and on time to accept incoming materials and orders. This means that your partners don’t have delayed deliveries and move on to their deliveries or tasks faster.
Its system-driven efficiency can help you eliminate friction with your supplier partners and end customers.
A warehouse management system can allow you to leverage and incorporate additional automation technology within your warehouse, ensuring more efficient processing of inventory.
For one, mobile technology can streamline internal assigned tasks and facilitate the transition from paper-based to digital. This streamlines operations, ensuring the correctness of data and boosting business scalability.
Other levels of automation available include automated picking and packing, analytics-driven movements and forecasting, robotics, and even AI. A warehouse management system can assist in the implementation of these automation technologies by providing a core element for recording, capturing, and communication.
In this modern era, traditional warehouse management processes are now becoming obsolete. In order to keep up with consumers’ demands for accurate, fast, and on-time shipping without increasing costs or compromising quality, you need to implement a warehouse management system to streamline your warehouse and fulfillment processing.